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Friday, 16 September 2011


My Tonga Princesses“Huumplkkkkkk” is the sound that escapes my body as I dry-retch for the 5th time; “Oh God, I want to die” goes through my mind as I cling to the floor and look into the abyss that was the contents of my stomach not long ago. Beads of sweat run into each other on my forehead and trickle down my exhausted, drained face before joining the awful contents of the bucket. I HATE VOMITING! After the vomiting comes the diarrhoea; diarrhoea I can handle, just about. In fact, as I sit, exhausted and faint on the toilet, a merry little tune comes to my mind thanks to my favouritiest cousin in the whole world. The lyric goes something like

When you’re climbing up a tree
And it’s running down your knee,
It’s diarrhoea, diarrhoea.

Despite the tiredness and desperation, I’m still able to smile at this stupid little thing and I think that’s one of my favourite personal qualities, the ability to (nearly) always see the bright side of even the worst situations. And to never forget that some things are temporary, no matter how unpleasant they are. An ex-girlfriend of mine never liked this saying but I’ve always felt it very true, “Life’s a bitch sometimes!”

A less ill version of DavidIt sucks being ill; it sucks worse when you are alone when you’re sick. I think it’s the times that I have been ill and away from people I love that have been the loneliest, most isolating and vulnerable times in my life. The knowledge or feeling that you are on your own no matter how bad it gets. That feeling was always present in London but here it is amplified even further. Just like in London there are people who care and worry about me here but somehow it’s not the same. I’m not the top priority and never will be. Having had a glorious illness-free eight months, I’ve now had three bouts of stomach trouble in the space of 2 months. I dreaded going to the doctors because the last thing I want to hear is that I have malaria but in the end I bit the bullet I can confirm, thanks be to God, my guardian angel(s) and every other saint I can think of, the test came out negative. So it’s just me being unlucky/stupid. I’ve always been a boy when it comes to my personal health. I had numerous near life ending moments long before I got to Africa and while I am a bit more careful here I believe in fully experiencing life and if somebody offers me something then I usually won’t hesitate in accepting their kindness. This obviously has its own risks but as always, I’ve considered this and am willing to accept the consequences of my actions. Even if that test had come back positive then I would have faced the consequences without much regret. I didn’t come to Africa to live in a glass case, much and all as some might like me to. I can’t live like that and after all, it’s all my father and my favouritiest cousins father (the dare-devil on my mums side) fault.

Having said all that, I’m really hoping that the next three months will remain illness free. I might just have to be even more careful. No more dodgy furry jam, grapefruit with maggots or mouldy cheese. A lifetime of eating things that others might not (like rescued peppers that a flatmate thought he threw out) is a powerful habit to break but having just survived a third reminded of how much I HATE VOMITING I’m inclined to be just a tad more careful.

Your thinner reporter in the middle of nowhere


  1. Thanks Nick, I am indeed being more careful and there's a fair to medium chance that you might yet see me again :) x